How Amazon Prime is now taking book sales away from indie authors. Seriously.Posted: October 31, 2016 | |
I know we are not supposed to speak badly of those who help feed us, but I want to tell you about the newest ‘benefit’ for Amazon Prime members–all 54 million of them in the U.S. Now those members can read free books–any or all–from a Thousand Book reading list for Prime Members.
This is separate from Kindle Unlimited’s all-you-can-read program of books enrolled in KDP Select where authors are paid by the number of pages read.
These are a Thousand Books selected by Amazon for Prime members only. A closer look at this list reveals that over 80%+ of the works of fiction are published by Amazon imprints, like Thomas and Mercer. And most of them appear to be Book 1 of a trilogy.
Very clever marketing by Amazon. You get Book 1 for free and buy the next two. Book promoters like Bookbub, Read Cheaply and Free Booksy have been facilitating this type of marketing for years. But it is not so good for us indies and traditional or small publishers and those book promoters. Even Bookbub, which is arguably the most important of the discount/bargain book promoters, does not have a list of 54 million would-be book buyers.
There are also non-fiction offerings in the Thousand Books, including Lonely Planet guides to practically every country on the planet, plus a lot of books about crafts. So if you were thinking about leaving your day job to live off your earnings as a fiction writer, maybe you should wait a little bit and see how this all plays out.
As for me…I abandoned writing fiction some time ago and two of my non-fiction guides, on the right, continue to sell. The ‘How Seniors Travel for Fun and Profit’ is, in fact, a best seller and has been for over six weeks now. But I think this turn of events will seriously impact the writing future of many indie authors.